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return from tight to work on the deadlock in d.c. tomorrow. is something he said to speaker john boehner leaving room for compromise? if politicians don't take us over the cliff, will the unions over the cliff, will the unions in what is threatening to strike lead paint poisoning aects one million children today. if you're pregnant or have young children and your home was built before 1978, you could be at risk. learn how to protect your family. to find your home's danger zones, the health effects, or just to find help, log on to leadfreekids.org. read the headlines and they say the president is giving up his vacation to negotiate a fiscal cliff deal but is something he said before leaving for hawaii leaving room for negotiations? what are we talking about? set it up. >> the president is heading back to washington to attempt a last ditch effort with speaker boehner to forge compromise to avert the fiscal cliff which will kick in in about six days if nothing'ss done. those are the headlines. everyone talking about cutting his vacation short. the question is there anything that can be done
entrance. those are the suvs that likely boehner, mcconnell, pelosi and reid will come out of. let's talk about the deal. what if there's a deal, craig, for, i don't know, say 4 hr $500,000 the threshold of who gets taxes and who keeps -- everybody under that number keeps their tax cuts. everyone over pays more and there's spending cuts. is that a bad deal? >> yeah. i think it is. let me tell you why. because you can't get everything out of this deal that you want and frankly, all we're doing is kicking the can down the road. you know as well as i do this does nothing to deal with the $1 trillion plus deficits we have yearly. this is the fifth year in a row, we're going to have $20 trillion worth of debt on top of $48 trillion worth a long-term liabilities by the time mr. obama leaves office. this is the time to deal with this issue. we've been kicking it down the road ten years. we promised the nation in 2011 under the budget deal with the sequesters we would not let this get away from us. we shouldn't this time. for mr. obama to suggest i've cut a trillion in spending because he saved m
of senator boehner. tax rates increase for those over a million dollars. you are a guy that is well known as a conservative. in principle isn't that something you think hurts the economy? >> no question what the president wants to do is bad for the economy, sean. what concerns me is we are now three days away from a really bad law taking effect which is increasing tax rates on everybody, huge increases on capital gains, massive increase on dividends. this is destructive. i see my mission in part to try to absolutely minimize the damage. unfortunately, i don't have the ability to repeal that law and the democrats control two out of the three parts of the elect ared government. i will fight as hard as i can to minimize this damage. but i got to be honest with you, i mean we got a pretty tough hand to deal with here. and we can't just change that law by ourselves. >> sean: it seems to me senator johnson three things that maybe the president hasn't thought of. number one if the president goes over the fiscal cliff on his watch the optics are not very good for him. while he may think there is
? is it to finally strike a deal? honestly, no one knows. but one thing is certain. house speaker john boehner and his fellow republicans could no longer weather the incredibly bad optics of sitting at home while the president of the united states and the senate were in washington. president obama arrived back at the white house this morning. the president will host a meeting tomorrow afternoon with senate majority leader reid, senate minority leader mcconnell, speaker boehner, and leader pelosi at the white house. senate majority leader harry reid took to the senate floor this morning to, shall we say, let boehner have it. >> if we go over the cliff, and it looks like that's where we're headed, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak, with four days left after today before the first of the year aren't here with the speaker having told them they'll have -- they'll give them 48 hours' notice. the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allo
their taxes go up. the news comes after a conference call that mr. boehner held with gop house members, telling them to return to washington this sunday. but just because they're coming back doesn't mean they're looking to play nice. today, senator harry reid blasted the speaker for refusing to even vote on a democratic plan that would protect 98% of americans. >> everyone knows that if they had brought up the house -- i'm sorry, the senate-passed bill that would give relief to everyone making less than $250,000 a year, it would pass overwhelmingly. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker. >> a dictatorship of the speaker. and here's house speaker boehner office responded. senator reid should talk less and legislate more. legislate more? what legislation has speaker boehner been working on while on vacation? while we're about to go over the cliff, the gop has been pointing fingers at the president. one gop aide says talks have failed because "the president made a strategic miscalculation and overreached. he picked a fight." picked a fight? sorry, that's not going to fly.
>> is the president setting up house speaker john boehner here for a majority of the house vote? >> that's the real question right now. right now, the focus is on the senate. what does harry reid do? does he blink obama's plan to the floor or try to work with mcconnell in this 11th hour. you will have a tough vote for many house republicans. if that level is at 250 and it includes unemployment, make it so republicans may not. >> joy, do you think we have a deal? >> you know, ill'm still very dubious. but if there is a deal, it will be with a majority of democrats in the house and there's a political risk for boehner in that. >> thank you. you've been watching "hardball." we'll be back in one hour with an all-new live edition. until then, "politics nation" starts rite now. >> thanks, richard. thanks to you for tuning in. breaking news, president obama urges congress to make a deal to overt the fiscal cliff. he announces no deal, but progress may be in sight. >> and that would be the wrong thing to do for our e con mu. it would be bad for middle class families and bad for business
negotiations and john boehner and senate leader are working on a deal this morning to avoid the fiscal cliff, or as chris hayes and i call it, the fiscal curve. the deadline is soft. it's not like every american is going to be handed a bill on january 1st and there's way to manage the damage if the country goes over. the senate is set to convene this afternoon with the house to follow tonight. there's a chance that a compromise will be reached, less than 48 hours before tax rates revert to their clinton dasher are levels and board across the board spending cuts talk effect. when the president took to the podium friday afternoon to urge the law enforcements to get their act together with he didn't exactly project confidence. >> this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable. why everything always has to wait until the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. >> this may be why the pr
with boehner. he won't talk with the other republicans. he hasn't built the trust. >> so has the president and the democrats, do you think they have done enough to build trust on the other side? >> i think so. i have been here 30 years now. this republican conference in the house is more hard edged, more hard to bid than has been true almost all the time i have been here. there has been in a sense a radicalization in the republican conference here in the house and it makes it very difficult to negotiate. the president has been talking with the speaker. he made an offer. it was essentially rejected by the speaker. he then comes up with another alternative. it is turned down by the conference that he is supposed to lead. i think all of that has made this a more difficult proposition. i think the president, he has offered cuts in spending essentially it has been very difficult to deal with this republican majority now in the house. and what i am hopeful of in this very, very critical last 48 hours is that the senate will act, they will find common ground and i also hope that if that doesn't h
reid needs the vote to avert the fiscal cliff. but the house? a different story. speaker john boehner held a conference call with republican leadership today, and basically decided to do nothing. there are no immediate plans to return to washington. even as that decision is made, how members have 48 hours to get there. house republican leadership released a statement today reading in part, the house has acted on two bills which collectively would avert the entire fiscal cliff if enacted. those bills await action by the senate if the senate will not approve and send them to the president to be signed into law in their current form. they must be amended and returned to the house. the house will take this action on whatever the senate can pass, but the senate must first act. the house has passed bills that would never pass the senate. speaker boehner's position is a joke. senate majority leader harry reid responded, house republicans pushed middle class families closer to the blip by wasting an entire week with their incompetent plan b stunt no further legislation can move through the se
boehner presented this plan b, which would have given -- extended tax cuts to those making less than $1 million and that was soundly rejected by his caucus. he never even presented it to the floor. so basically what he's done is thrown up his hands and said the house is out of this. we're just sitting on the sidelines sadly. so we have to wait and see what the senate is going to do. i was very glad to hear mr. mcconnell and senator reid say that they were going forward trying to work out something. but t.j., we have to address this moment very seriously. because there are so many people who are going to be possibly harmed if we don't act. and so we're just going to have to see what they're able to come up with. >> and i've got some more policy things. but on the politics and the optics of it, explain to people who are watching now who are a couple of days away from their taxes going up. it's hard for them to get their heads around you not being in d.c., that congress or the house at least not being in session. it's as if -- again it's the optics of this thing. it almost sounds like you'
have a dysfunctional congress. >> speaker boehner needs to bring his party along. >> it's pretty clear that he could not bring them along. >> john boehner doesn't seem to have full control of his caucus. >> they were this close. >> the republicans will be blamed. >> they were this close to a solution. >> we're going to head over that cliff. >> i know it's hard for the republicans. the minute those leaders move forward, they get viscerated. >> guns shouldn't be available for anyone, any time, anywhere. >> the conversation still wages on. >> its plan to add more guns to schools. >> a completely dumb-ass idea. >> i don't think the nra is listening. >> you can call it whatever you want to call it. >> congress hasn't confirmed the director of the bureau of alcohol, tobacco and firearms. >> dysfunctional, dysfunctional, dysfunctional congress. >> we're not going to allow what has happened in the past to go on. >> congress has just three business days to pass legislation to avoid going over the fiscal curb. president obama has cut his hawaii vacation short and is on his way back to washington
boehner, accusing him of running a dictatorship in the house. >> speaker boehner is not willing to negotiate. we have not heard a word from leader mcconnell. nothing is happening. >> reporter: mitch mcconnell, the top republican in the senate, said it's reid who hasn't reached out for weeks. >> the phone never rang. and so now here we are, five days from the new year, and we might finally start talking. >> reporter: but talking about what? so far, reid has not introduced the scaled-down bill he was reportedly working on over the christmas holiday. sources say that bill would extend the bush-era tax cuts for americans making less than $250,000 a year. with the clock ticking, reid pointed a finger at the house of representatives, which still hasn't returned to washington. >> i can't imagine their consciences. they're out wherever they are around the country, and we're here trying to get something done. >> reporter: from his home in ohio, speaker boehner called on the house to come back this sunday, december 30. that's just one day before the fiscal cliff deadline when income tax c
's share of his time negotiating with speaker boehner, that did not work. what can you tell us about the key individuals involved in the process now, president obama, senator majority leader harry reed and mitch mcconnell. what is the tone? >> it's all about the senate right now, that is one of the more remarkable developments. all along we thought it would be between the obama white house and house speaker john boehner and there was a logic behind that. because getting legislation out of the house is the trickier part of crafting any type of deal. but with the house saying look, we need the senate to do something, the last ditch effort is occurring in the senate right now. i spoke to staffers close to senator mcconnell that said there was optimism on their side yesterday, including from their boss, senator minority leader mitch mcconnell to get a deal. of course, any kind of word in reading from the members themselves will not come until tomorrow, but it's both chris and luke that said in the segment before mine, there is a sense that what might have been optimism yesterday does not
worked out in the senate than there was dealing with speaker boehner and his completely dysfunctional house republican party. >> sure. well, abiding by convention and of course protocol, the senate won't return until sunday. will there be enough time for the senate leaders to really craft a deal that is substantive and makes a difference, especially to the most vulnerable americans? >> yeah, i think the two keys that the president laid out are to protect middle class americans from tax increases and to protect families that haven't been able to get back in the workforce, having their unemployment insurance cut off. and if those two things can be done, a lot of the rest can be worked in in the weeks and days to come. we have other deadlines coming up for the debt limit and for the end of the continuing resolution, so i think this is likely to be a bit of a continuing process. but the really immediate stuff, i think they can clearly do. the big choice is going to be republican leader mcconnell's. and that is, does he insist on filibustering this effort? if he does choose to filibuster t
speaker john boehner could face a challenge. also on the agenda changes in committee assignments and possible revisions to house and senate rules. >>> to massachusetts now where heavy snow is pounding the state and bringing with it freezing temperatures. boston could see up to 8 inches of snow today. the city's mayor has already declared a snow emergency. a top priority is getting the roads cleared for public safety. >> my guys live for this, so they're at their best when this kind of weather comes along. they're all geared up. it's like christmas morning for them. >> the neighbors to the south in rhode island are breaking out the shovels this morning. we'll show you that video. about a foot of snow has already fallen in some parts of the state. i know it's wintertime and it's supposed to snow, but these are the big snows so it's always interesting and kind of fun if you're not in it to look at the video. cnn i-reporters have been busy send inning photos. these are from mark ivy in farmersbu farmersburg, indiana. keep those pictures coming. >>> fiscal cliff, debt, and egos. how m
hard for a deal, gregg. gregg: has the bickering between reid and boehner sort of poisoned the negotiations past the point that, you know, maybe this meeting will help at all? >> reporter: it may have because it's really, we've seen tensions escalate ever since before christmas when john boehner was not able to get a deal through the house where he has a very strong republican majority. he had a rebellion amongst some of his fellow conservatives. that is what held it up. senator harry reid as you say was very rough going directly after boehner yesterday. take a listen. >> the american people i don't think understand the house of representatives is operating without the house of representatives. it's being operated with a dictatorship of the speaker, not allowing the vast majority of the house of representatives to get what they want. >> reporter: the word dictatorship not sitting well at speaker's office of the as you can imagine his spokesman putting out a tough statement of his own saying quote, senator reid should talk less and legislate more. the house already passed le
's not going to get inaugust -- inaugurated until the 21st, and boehner thinks the real deadline is february or early march. that's a time frame to look for, and the reality is if you look at the markets over the last while, they are correlated between the commodity markets, oil, bonds, stocks, and that has not been the case for many, many years, and so it's really one trade. there's a macro trade. what's going on in the u.s. with the fiscal cliff, and before that, it was all about europe. david: larry, your picks, disney and direct tv, i know you like the vegas stocks, las vegas sans, boyd gaming as well, but what about john's point that just to be safe because you never know. i mean, the worse can happen, happened before, and could happen again, those jokers inside the beltway very often don't come to a conclusion. wouldn't it be safe to put at least 10 #% of the portfolio in cash right now just in case? >> i just can't see it. the math is so compelling on the other side, and you have this just incredible sentiment. thirty years now, you have not been able to lose money in bonds. a lot of
60% of us to vote for this deal, it will be hard for boehner to get it through the house. i want to vote for it even though i won't like it because the country has a lot at stake. >> among the republican krengs any revenue generated by a potential deal, they would like to see it come do paying down the deficit, not new government spending. shannon? >> how confident are the "cook's essentialsal" democrats about the ability to get this done? >> reporter: congressional democrats do not sound over confident. they recognize this is a heavy lift between the top two senators in the next couple of hours. but a leading new york democrat sounded cautiously optimistic. >> there is certainly no breakthroughs yet between senator mcconnell and senator reid. but there is a real possibility of a deal. i have been a legislator for 37 years. and i have watched how these things work. they almost always happen at the last minute. >> reporter: we are getting down to the left minute. the threshold for extending the bush tax cuts. president obama campaigned campn capping it at $250,000, raising taxes o
that no republicans block the bill. house speaker john boehner agreed to bring the bill to a vote on the house floor. and leader nancy pelosi with the number of votes needed to pass. >> what folks are looking for and all of us agree on this is action. they want to see that we are focused on them, not focused on our politics here in washington. >> reporter: that was the last time this group met more than a month ago. with time running out to forge a scaled-down compromise, can they agree on even the most basic elements, extending some income tax cuts, preventing pay cuts to medicare providers, fixing the alternative minimum tax. among the options to gain votes, averting an estate tax hike toll woo republicans. there's still time but no room for error. if congress doesn't act -- >> the impact psychologically and financially on americans of another plunge in the negative territory for the economy would be extremely harmful. >> reporter: and candy, as i said, those leaders are still meeting with the president. we'll see if any of them come out and speak to us after that meeting breaks up as soon as we h
connell and john boehner representing the republicans. brianna keilar is live from washington. is anybody optimistic that a deal could be done today around a table? >> i will tell you the optimism is sort of sinking. senate majority leader harry reid said he doesn't see how it can get done by january 1st. we heard from president obama before he left from his vacation that he was optimistic. logistically the white house will tell you it's possible. when you listen to what you're hearing some of these congressional leaders say, there's a lot of posturing laying blame to the other side if we do go over the cliff. take a listen. >> republicans are not about to write a blank check for anything senate democrats put forward because we find ourselves at the edge of the cliff. >> we are here in washington working while the members of the house of representatives are out watching movies, watching their kids play soccer, basketball, doing all kinds of things. they should be here. >> now, house speaker john boehner is saying the senate needs to just take up a house pass bill that has already passed t
. that was in the context of a big deal with speaker boehner. now we're talking about the mini deal. the patch to get us through the new year. so democrats argue that this doesn't even have the votes to pass the house and the senate as dana says, it's a quote poison pill in the eyes of the democrats. we can continue to discuss that. i just want to bring awe little bit of news, if i may. while this all is as you put it, i think in very clearly, quote, disgusting and everything is moving very slowly. there is one potential glimmer of light. and that is, that senate minority leader, of the republican, mitch mcconnell and vice president biden have spoken. they've spoken twice. and the two of them have a history of cutting deals together. they were able to cobble together the debt deal that got us through the debt negotiations and kept the country from defaulting back in the summer of 2011. does this mean it will happen again? no. but it at least means there is a line of communication open between democrats and senior democrat and republican and the possibility that who knows, maybe there could be a path for
't filibuster over here that he would support and that boehner would support if it were reasonable. but right now we haven't heard anything. i don't know and it's none of my business, i guess, although i am very curious, if the speaker and the majority leader, the republican leader over here are even talking. i mean, what's going on here? mr. president, you can't legislate with yourself. we have nobody to work with, to compromise. that's what legislation is all about, is the ability to compromise. the republicans in the house have left town. the negotiations between the president and the speaker have fallen apart as they have for the last 3 1/2 years. we've tried mightily to get something done. i'll just go over what the little drill here, mr. president, to remind everyone how unreasonable the republicans have been. senator conrad and jeb gray came up with a proposal. commission would be appointed, appoint back to us, no filibusters, no amendments, yes or no. and we did a great job and we closed two bases over two different cycles saving the country hundreds and billions of dollars here. so w
advisor doug shoen. we have basically mr. boehner saying, look, you senate, you have not come up with anything. >> i think, unfortunately, we will probably get around it. i think it is a worse outcome to avoid the cliff then to go over it. i think we should broaden the discussion and look at what is going on around the world. look at japan and europe. the japanese government is the glaring war on japanese citizens. it will create inflation. if the japanese citizens start to dump their bonds, they have been a bigger part then japan recently. that is a big problem for us. their euro has been quietly depreciating. if that goes out, that is a much bigger fiscal cliff. if the buyers of treasuries become sellers. liz: there are a lot of "if" in your discussion. the bond markets are still pretty -- nothing from the bottom vigilantes yet. you were a clinton advisor. you saw in the mid- 90s bond yields really spike higher. that is the issue. if we see the economy healing, bond yields could go up. investors say, wait a second, why invest for bond. >> that is the key issue. we have not seen
it to john boehner. he got pretty personal. >> he did. he really laid the blame at boehner's lap. talked about the fact that he was surprised that the house isn't even in session, which is true, but let's get real. the senate came back into session this morning. most importantly, he was very, very pessimistic about getting anything done before we reach that fiscal cliff. listen to what he said. >> the speaker just has a few d days left to change his mind, but i have to be very honest, mr. president. i don't know time wise how it can happen now. >> let me kind of lay out the state of play. i'll try to keep it out as much as possible. this is something everybody is focused on. the ball is in the senate's court right now. so what senator reid, who you saw earlier, and the president, what they are trying to figure out is whether or not they can craft what the president called a scaled-back bill, which is what he campaigned on. raising taxes for everybody making more than $250,000 a year and adding a few other tax-related items in there. maybe spending but it's unclear. the question is whethe
mitch mcconnell, house speaker john boehner and house democratic leader nancy pelosi met at the white house yesterday afternoon with the president and vice president. here's where things stand right now. the senate leaders are meeting aiming to avoid tax hikes. and they may vote on a deal sunday or perhaps on monday. jessica yellin is our chief white house correspondent. lisa day jar dayne is on capitol hill. the president used his bully pulpit to reinforce the idea that senators need to get busy. so let's listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously, their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get stuff done in an organized timetable, why everything always has to wait till the last minute. we're now at the last minute. and the american people are not going to have any patience for a politically self-inflicted wound to our economy. not right now. >> so jessica, you were in the room for the president's remarks. on a scale of 1 to 10, let's measure the anger perhaps that
and the senate is coming back. the house is not. house speaker john boehner staying in ohio. he says some contact, but communication is no substitute for senate action. it's all in the senate. >> juliet: all righty. log on to our web site for our after the show show because we're going to be giving you lots of gossip and secrets that you don't hear. >> kelly: really? >> juliet: yeah. >> clayton: that's news. i'll make sure i'm there. gregg: fox news alert. millions at the mercy of mother nature this morning after a massive storms slams the northeast bringing snow, rain, high winds, icy road conditions. more than 50 flights have been canceled today following the grounding of more than 1700 the day before. coming up in minutes we'll go live to anna kooiman live in scranton, pennsylvania where folks are trying to dig out from more than a foot of snow. but first, bad weather making be delaying lawmakers plans to get back to the negotiating table in washington, d.c. good morning, i'm gregg jarrett in "america's newsroom.". patti ann: freight to be with you again, gregg. i'm patti ann browne in for mar
there is no sense of urgency. >> the entire house coming back sunday night. >> how is john boehner going to get the votes. he couldn't get the votes for his plan b. >> a week ago we were closer than we have been before. >> do they presume the voters are that dumb? >> they passed it. >> they did it noing that they are unable to make deals on anything. >> how about complete chaos? >> there ought to be a new rule in congress. >> you cannot create anymore artificial crisis. >> tim geithner wrote a letter to congress. we are going to hit the debt ceiling. it never ends. >> happy new year's america. ♪ 29 and a half hours that is how long congress will have to avoid going over the fiscal curve on sunday night. >> if we go over the cliff, mr. president, the house of representatives as we speak with four days left after today with the first of the year, aren't here. i can't mamg they are out wherever they r and we are here trying to get something done. >> president obama called leaders last night and tomorrow afternoon we will meet with the speaker and mix mcconnel and harry reid to see if they can av
war in a weekend. >> dave: he can get it done but there is still john boehner and the house republicans. i'm not modestly optimistic. anything through the house at this point. >> juliet: like lindsey gram said two days ago when you call a meeting publicly in washington it usually turns out to be the dog and pony show or theater basically. honestly calling at this late hour. they met for an hour. what could really go down in that type of meeting? things can go down but really, it's just at the edge. they waited so long. they all went on their vacations. >> clayton: here are some things on the table to answer those questions perhaps. generalities. we don't know what's been tabled. democrats still strong about this. they say they were, yeah, here is -- take a look at this. keeping tax cuts for those making $250,000 a year or less. we know that's there. that may shift because we are hearing from republicans they may be willing to go as high as $500,000 a year. of the extended. >> dave: that's my guess. >> extending unemployment tax benefits for 2 million folks still unemployed.
in advance of the of the new year. he's there to talk to himself. john boehner will come back at any time. his office told us it would be sometime after christmas. so he could be back as soon as today. the upper chamber in commerce is coming back tomorrow to pick up where they left off on the important domestic surveillance bisa. they will meet for a vote on the $50.6 billion bill for hurricane sandy relief. they will be back in the same zip code as far as we know there are no specific time or places on the books for an inperson meaning between the two. something else that remains to be seen is everybody will return to the table with a cooler head which the president shawas hopi for before he went on his family vacation. hoe over do you. >> the fiscal cliff we have been telling you so much about could be devastating for thousands of american businesses and their workers. their new concerns this morning about profits for those companies. lauren simonetti from the fox business network joins us to explain. what's going on? >> the fiscal cliff puts it in jeopardy. many are afraid to invest in
, and i'm not seeing any resolution. i don't think anyone else's either. >> speaker boehner had planned be on the floor last week. then he pulled it. he had 200 votes probably. had steny come to him and said we have democrats that would vote with you, the problem would have been over. do you think lyndon johnson would've been on the phone, had it been in the ring last week? of course he went. ronald reagan would've done the same thing. he recalled his spokesman said, look, needed to be with me on this. we will get some other stuff done later. the problem is the president will not engage. he wants it to happen. but he doesn't have his fingerprints on it because he knows whatever occurs is ultimately going to be unsatisfactory from other perspectives. but remember this, the fiscal cliff is a made-for-tv drama. the debt limit is real. gerri: yes, it is real. tomorrow the gop members will have a conference call about what to do next. what do you think you can accomplish? speaker boehner is probably stuck in ohio because the weather is so bad. a lot of yourself, who may not be able to get ba
the players in this fiscal cliff game. let's look at what president obama and speaker boehner want. president obama wants higher taxes on the wealthy, stimulus spending, limited cuts to entitlements, and speaker boehner wants limited tax increases and keep his job. bob, which -- where do we go from here if a deal isn't hashed out in the next few hours? >> not necessarily in that order. i think the priorities for john boehner may have been turned around. jared is an old jazz fan, as am i, and he knows that miles davis had a song called "so what" and i think that might be the background music right now as all the posturing is going on in public. the simple fact of the matter is that they are setting up the process for working out a deal after they have scared the daylights out of everybody, and it would seem to me that to quote another song, which is "what are you going to be doing new year's eve," i think that we'll be finding that these people are still hard at it and maybe calling congress into session tomorrow night which is a really rotten way to end the year. >> jared, explain for our vie
connell, they really are the focus in the senate. in the house, it's speaker john boehner. i've got to ask you, is his job on the line if republicans balk at any deal that's reached? >> no, not at all. speaker boehner is extremely strong. his conferences support him and knows that he's been in a tough position trying to negotiate the fiscal deal with the president. he's been doing this for weeks, month, working on this deal. and you know, they gave it a shot. they tried their best. the house, you know, house republicans wouldn't go for it. and said, you know, it's up to the senate. and once -- if the senate passes something, the house now will consider it. so i -- i do think that the speaker is in a very strong position. and besides, this is a very difficult job. i don't see many republicans standing up and wanting to take speaker boehner on. not many other people could do the job like speaker boehner is. >> i agree. i see you saying that. think about it, he didn't look good when plan b couldn't go to a vote. how can he be strong in this position? >> i think house republican see the position he's in.
to go, all of them to go up, it is a verydifficult situation for speaker boehner and the house republicans to be in. i feel very soy for them. they a caught in a trap. lou: a trap, a conundru that was perfecy visible. it was transparent where w would be. and the republicans, the republican leadership, the republican national committee. all of the so-called wise men and women of the party did absolutely nothing to prepare for this strategic moment, and they are coming up woefully short. >> that's very true. you knew it happened 10 years ago when there was a provision that this was going to happen. here it is. i think the key for the republicans from my standpoint is to get this over with as quickly as possible. the serious business of trying to prevent spending increases and other programs. without giving up the position of republicans and being able to get those tax cuts. we will have an awful 2013 and 2000 putting him and i think the republicans could take over the senate and increed the majority of senate and house if they don't give up their key issue, tax cuts. u: there ha
. >> reporter: congress reached this brink before christmas when speaker john boehner failed to get enough house republicans to support his solution, threw up his hands and said it's up to leader reid and the president. >> how we get there, god only knows. >> reporter: aides say reid's plan would avoid tax increases for people making less than $250,000, eliminate spending cuts and restore unemployment benefits. >> what needs to happen now is for a sense of desperation among lawmakers to kick in and realize that if we go past january 1st with no deal, the markets are likely to decline in a significant way and alarm most americans. they don't want to have themselves blamed for that. >> reporter: meanwhile, public pressure is mounting. countdown clocks are springing up, and today starbucks asked employees to begin writing "come together" on coffee cups. now, speaker boehner has not yet called the house back into session. meanwhile, treasury secretary tim geithner told congressional leaders today that the nation has almost reached its borrowing limit. the debate over whether to increase that limit
it's not as if he doesn't have an awfully strong hand to play. if it's a deal john boehner can accept, frankly, i think it will be passed in a bipartisan manner with a strong majority. if earn he's not neutral or favorable, his chances will be a lot slimmer. >> we will find out in the morning whether any progress came out of the senate leader mitch mcconnell's meeting with vice president joe biden. >> we've been asking you, our viewers, to send in your thoughts, your messages to elected representatives. so let's close tonight with some advice from one of you to washington. >> my message to all of washington for the new year is to set partisanship aside working on behalf of 100% of the voters, fix this mess you've gotten us into, bring a balanced budget to the table to grow this economy for the long term not the short term. >> there you go. for the long term, not the short term. >> there you go. i'm don lemon. happy new year to you. jooirksz . >>> hello, i'm don lemon and this is cnn's top 10 of 2012. we look at the stories that captured our attention, what we see as the biggest
to meet with house speaker john boehner, minority leader nancy pelosi, senate majority harry reid and minority leader mitch mcconnell. that is happening this afternoon. jessica yellin is there. jess, what do we know about the president's plan to get everybody in the same room? do we think there's going to be something that comes out of this? >> reporter: well, this is one of those cases where we really are going to have to wait and see, and all the parties involved are also going in with a big question mark. the idea is the expectation by many of the participants in the meeting is that they hope that they will be able to discuss more details about a scaled-down fiscal cliff plan. and maybe that could lead to some sort of agreement ideally for all parties in which all the senators say that they will not filibuster it, and it can go to a vote. and then speaker boehner could, in theory, agree to bring it to a vote on the house floor after the house comes back on sunday. and then we would get all of this behind us before new year's eve. how likely does that sound? not so likely. >> yo
for a tax increase of any time? i think that plan b that speaker boehner paul ford is a clear indication that they will not. at some point, the republicans have to say i will vote for a tax increase. even if it is a small one. [talking over each other] dagen: and you have on the other side digging in their heels about making slight tweaks. lack of movement on the democratic side. >> no, you cannot, dagen. dagen: why can't you argue that? [talking over each other] >> the democrats have voted for this. what was the number one charge of the vice president ryan? it was democrats would reduce medicare. this is not that anymore. you cannot make that argument anymore. the beginning is when the republicans say i will vote for tax increases of some kind. i will guarantee you, guarantee you they will vote for a change in medicare and the rest of it, but they have to say, look, this is both revenues and expenses on the table. this goes back to george bush and what he did in 1990. remember what happened to him. it is very difficult for elected officials to vote for something when they think it will
to the fiscal cliff, we are watching john boehner, playing out on a national stage a game i am not sure the national media quite gets ors perhaps even they as astute asst they are, the game of politics they quite get.g this is everything for a lot of people, what do you make of it>i in their attitudes, their demeanor, eir personality? >> everybody is trying to beth right, it needs to happen for what is best for our country anm in this country. >> is almost a testosterone contest. it is not about winning for the american peop is about winning for the party, i can do it better than you, it has to be who wins, w who loses? >> psychologically it is unsettling because it interferes with their comfort level in terms of spending and feelingf comfortable.th >> i don't think about it, they noticed a game of chicken when it comes to this fisl cliff. lou: etc. look a except when wet projections. talking about another recession.
speaker boehner came to the capitol but left without comment. issue number one in the talks is amending the bush era tax cuts, which if unchanged will expire and raise taxes on all americans. starting tuesday, the average tax hike will be three to 5% per person. >> let's keep taxes exactly where they are on the first $250,000 of everybody's income. >> reporter: the president campaigned to increase taxes only on families making more than $250,000 per year. almost two weeks ago, the president offered a compromise to raise taxes only on income above 400,000, hoping that might win republican support. >> i have gone at least halfway. >> reporter: the senate is also negotiating an extension of unemployment benefits for some 2 million jobless americans, without a deal those checks will stop next week for this mother of five who has been searching for work since february. >> if congress does not extend the unemployment benefits, then i would be without a home and i really don't know what else we would do. >> reporter: the deal under discussion in the senate right now doesn't even include the bi
on taxes. >> i think it's been very hard for speaker boehner and republican leader mcconnell to accept the fact that taxes on the wealthiest americans should go up a little bit as part of an overall deficit reduction package. >> reporter: inside closed door negotiations this weekend, aipds say there have been "constructive move." on key issues like taxes, including compromise on where to set higher rates for wealthier americans and avoiding a jump in inheritance taxes. but this afternoon, republican leader mitch mcconnell complained that democrats had failed to deliver a promised counteroffer. so mcconnell called for help, phoning vice president biden who came to the white house today and now part of the talks. >> i want every ton know i'm following get this done. but i need a dance partner. >> reporter: majority leader harry reid acknowledged democrats were stuck and he, too called for help. >> i have a number of conversations with the president and at this stage, we are not able to make a counteroffer. >> reporter: democrats blamed republicans for a "major setback" when mcconnell sug
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